A senior railway officer has expressed disagreement against the inspection report into Odisha train tragedy incident.
The report in ToI said: “a senior railway engineer has hit a dissenting note against the inspection report that blamed signal failure for the accident. AK Mahanta, senior section engineer of signals and communications (Balasore), whose department is under the lens, disputed the stand of the other four members of the panel.”
He as per the report has claimed that the signal was green for Coromandel Express "to take the main line and not the loop line".
Datalogger is a microprocessor-based system that monitors the railway signalling system.
“The crash, where Coromandel Express rammed into a stationary goods train on the loop line instead of travelling on the main line, suggested there could be problems with the electronic interlocking system. Some quarters said a faulty system may have changed the route of the train,” it mentioned.
However, the officer has said the accident happened because the driver of Coromandel Express was signalled to take the loop line.
“Point No. 17A was found set for Up Loop Line (in reverse condition) of Bahanaga Bazar station,” the report said.
“Setting point in ‘reverse’ condition means an approaching train is allowed to enter the loop line whereas setting point in ‘normal’ condition signals the train to take the main line. In this case, point No. 17A is where Coromandel Express entered the loop line,” it said.
The officer has instead said: “I did not agree with (the part of the report) which mentions that point No. 17A was found set for Up Loop line. Based on the observation from the datalogger report, point 17 was set for the normal side. It may be reverse (sic) after the derailment.”
Earlier, the report said the officer, notably, had earlier agreed with the others on the panel.
“Following his dissenting note, speculations have begun as to what could have caused him to change his stand so drastically,” it said.
Meanwhile, Railway officials have maintained that the accident took place because of “deliberate interference with the electronic interlocking system.
The report quoting another railway officer said: “You get green signal only after fulfilling all the pre-conditions such as whether the route is set and everything is right. Even if there is a minor problem, technically, there cannot be a green signal in any circumstance; it becomes red. It can’t go green unless and until someone has tampered with it, someone has physically tempered with it. The loco pilot and the assistant pilot (of Coromandel Express) have said that the signal was green. Even the data logger, which records every event, shows the signal was green.”